The Waterwheel

In a watermill, the waterwheel is the primary source of power to operate the mill. Without a wheel, and an adequate supply of water, a watermill cannot work. Although the millpond still survives, New Hall Mill lost the water supply from the Ebrook to the millpond in 1964 during river realignment to reduce flooding in the Sutton Coldfield area. The mill now relies upon a small spring and local drainage into the remaining length of the original leat and recycling water.

The wheel is an external overshot wheel, 11ft (3.35m) in diameter and 6ft (1.83m) wide, fitted with 36 buckets supported by two sets of six cast iron arms on an 8" iron shaft. The date of the water-wheel is unknown, but it is most likely to be between 1840 and 1910. The name "T. Price" is cast into the shroud but it is believed the wheel was made by George Turton of Kidderminster. Originally the buckets around the wheel were made of wood but these were replaced by metal in early 1997. The speed of the waterwheel is controlled by the Penstock, adjusted by the miller from inside the mill. Except for the Millstones, the only other item of machinery that is powered by the waterwheel is the Aspirator. After leaving the wheel, the water flows through a culvert under the mill and mill cottage and into a collecting tank. From here it is recycled back to the mill pond by an automatic electric pump.